OCEAN COUNTY – Testing hours will be reduced starting on the first week of June at the Ocean County College’s test center for residents testing for the coronavirus.
The drive thru testing site on the Toms River campus will continue to be done on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays, but the hours will be changed from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m.
“We have been watching the appointment schedule and reviewing the number of tests being done the days we are there,” Ocean County Public Health Coordinator Daniel Regenye said..
He added, “at this time we are comfortable in reducing the hours and we can still meet the testing needs of our residents. It remains imperative that people follow the requirements to be tested at the college.”
Regenye said. “We do not want anyone to show up at this testing site without following the requirements we have put in place. We are not going to do any health screenings at the site. It is just for testing for the virus.”
The testing requirements remain the same for the site. Ocean County Health Department officials are reminding residents of the requirements to be tested include:
• You must be an Ocean County resident and have identification.
• You must have a healthcare practitioner script.
• You must make an online appointment at www.ochd.org.
• You must be symptomatic.
• Entry to the college site is from the Hooper Avenue entrance.
Regenye said that any practitioner (including Nurse Practitioner, Advanced Practice Nurse, Medical Doctor, Physician Assistant etc.) who has “prescriptive” privileges in New Jersey can write a script for COVID testing, it does not necessarily have to be a physician.
He stressed that with many health care providers currently doing telemedicine, individuals do not need to see a physician in person to obtain the necessary script.
The hospitals assisting in staffing the testing site – both Hackensack Meridian Health and RWJ Barnabas Healthcare System – have telemedicine opportunities to assist Ocean County residents obtain the required healthcare practitioner script before traveling to the testing center.
The telemedicine services at the hospitals can be accessed at Hackensack Meridian Health (Ocean Medical Center, Southern Ocean Medical Center) hackensackmeridianhealth.org/covid19/
RWJ Barnabas Healthcare System (Community Medical Center, Monmouth Medical Center Southern Campus) RWJBHtelemed.org use code RWJBH15
Regenye said that many pharmacies and other testing sites for asymptomatic people have opened throughout the state with some located in Ocean County.
“While we remain a testing site solely for residents that have shown symptoms of COVID-19, we are recommending others who may want to be tested that are asymptomatic and do not have a script or are looking to have the antibody test done can access testing site information from various websites,” Regenye said.
Two websites providing this information are: covid19.nj.gov/pages/testing and covid19.nj.gov/pages/testing#test-sites.
Around 4,500 COVID-19 tests have been performed at the drive thru testing site at Ocean County College.
Ocean County Freeholder Director Joseph H. Vicari said, “this drive thru testing site has been a cooperative effort by a number of agencies. It has gone very smoothly.”
Partners in the testing site include U.S. Rep. Chris Smith, the Ocean County Board of Chosen Freeholders, the Ocean County Office of Emergency Management under Sheriff Michael G. Mastronardy, the Ocean County Health Department, RWJ Barnabas Health Southern Region and Hackensack Meridian Health and Ocean County College.
“Residents remain in their cars and medical personnel perform a nasal swab at the OCC site,” Ocean County Freeholder Gerry P. Little said. Little is liaison to the Ocean County Health Department.
Little added, “we are working to make this convenient and more importantly safe for the public, the health care providers on site and staff.”
As of May 28, Ocean County has recorded 8,527 cases of the coronavirus.
Regenye emphasized that anyone getting the test should continue self-isolating after receiving it.
“If you have symptoms, you should be returning home immediately after being tested and continue self- quarantining. If you have the coronavirus you will be spreading it if you are not isolating,” Regenye said.
Once the test has been performed, it’s anticipated to take about three to five days for results to be returned.
“All the results will be available on the BioReference Laboratories Patient Portal: Bioreference.com/patients/ and through the Ocean County Health Department residents will be notified whether they test positive or negative,” Regenye added.
The most common symptoms of COVID-19 are fever, fatigue, a dry cough and shortness of breath. Ocean County has also established a process to ensure that people with test results are informed in a timely manner and provided with guidance, consultation and next steps.